Police deal a blow to cell phone smugglers


Parkweg Police has made a significant breakthrough by closing a net on a market of stolen goods and confiscated hundreds of suspected stolen cell phones valued to thousands of rand.
This follows after a month-long intensive investigation which resulted in raiding of two cellular shops owned by foreign nationals on Thursday, 26 September 2013 in Hanger Street in the CBD of Bloemfontein. The two places had been under police surveillance for some months and it came to light that they had been used as storage for stolen cell phones. Their modus operandi is that they buy stolen or robbed cell phones from the criminals and unblock them and later sell them to the unsuspecting customers at a costly price. It was also revealed that some consignments were destined for the foreign or international market.
A total of 387 stolen cell phones were recovered during the raid. These include the latest models and makes of phones such as BlackBerry, Nokia and Samsung. The total value of all recovered cell phones is estimated at R 300 000.00.
The two suspects who are Bangladesh nationals aged 26 and 33, were arrested. They are expected to make a brief court appearance in Bloemfontein on Monday, 30 September 2013 on charges of possession of stolen properties, buying of stolen properties and contravention of communication Act, 35 of 2005.
Further investigations are continuing as to ascertain that these suspected stolen cell phones could possibly be linked to incidents of housebreaking, theft out of motor vehicles and street robberies that had sparked at various areas in recent months in Bloemfontein.
Police appeal to members of public who had reported stolen or robbed cell phones to kindly visit the exhibit store at Park Road Police Station to identify their cell phones and to bring along a proof of ownership and their identity documents.
The Cluster Commander of Park Road, Major General Wilson Tyuthuza, applauded the members involved and teamwork that contributed to this success. He further stated that this is in accordance his vision of consolidated task team approach to policing and service delivery to the community. In the light of this success, he urgently appeals to the public to come forward with any information that may assist the police in apprehending the suspects or would-be criminals.